Originally Posted by Cloud9Landscapes
I eventually bought a Eastman reel mower and have been happy with it thus far, I don't maintain enough bermuda to put it through the paces but after I redo a couple of lawns they will be established with Hybrid Bermuda and they will be maintained with the Eastman. Both the Tru-cut and Cal trimmer have their advantages. For instance, the drive roller on the cal trimmer can be rough on grass that has not been well established, where as the Tru-cuts weight can be rough and the swiveling casters really offer no real advantage, I always keep mine locked.
txgrassguy is correct, the proper terminology is "Bed knife" go ask anybody at a mower shop or a superintendent what a "Reel anvil" is and you will get confused looks, it is a bed knife.
I'm still not convinced that the hayter harrier will provide a clean cut in the long run, a rotary blade will dull much faster than a reel that is properly setup. And by properly setup I mean 1/1000 of a inch between the reel and the bedknife. You could use two feeler gauges for this on each end of the reel.
In conclusion, I would like to say that I still prefer the Eastman Cal Trimmer over the tru-cut in terms of construction and ergonomics. The Tru-cut has a cheap clutch assembly and there are way to many zerks. If I had the money and enough lawns to maintain in my area that were Bermuda, I would have bought a Locke. If you look in the "Post pictures of Bermuda lawns" thread you will find the lawns that are cut by Locke reels are incredibly nice. The floating reel that contours to the surface is found almost exclusively on greens mowers and high quality fairway mowers is found on the Locke. But I could have 3 cal trimmers for the price of one locke.
If you get the lawn level enough and keep a sharp reel, you could keep a lawn looking really good with a entry level reel, cultural practices and proper equipment maintenance is far more important than the mower you use.
For someone without much experience operating reel mowers you sure have a lot of opinions (Chili reference) I have moved away from reels mostly because I have not found a client yet that can tell the difference between a reel cut and a cut with a Walker mower. The reel will go dull in a heartbeat if you hit a decent sized rock. It will come out of adjustment just bouncing around in the back of a trailer. I love reels and I love the reel cut... but as a business man I have to look at the big picture and unfortunately there is little room for reel mowers these days. At least if you are a profit based business. I have not been able to test out the Hayder yet but I have to believe Tx. he seems to have a pretty good handle on the reel picture.